Okur continues stellar play as Jazz top BullsJan 21, 2007 - 6:33 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Mehmet Okur is proving to be one of the most dangerous big men in the NBA.
Okur collected 21 points and 11 rebounds and Carlos Boozer had 19 and 14 as the Utah Jazz continued their strong play for a 95-85 victory over the Chicago Bulls in the finale of a four-game road trip.
It was another impressive win for the Jazz, who won the last three games of the trip on the heels of a season-high four-game losing streak. The trip began with a heartbreaking loss at the hands of superstar Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards on Monday.
Utah coach Jerry Sloan thought his team competed well the entire trip and played remarkably in an intense game.
"This game had the feel of a playoff game," Sloan said. "We really competed these last few games, especially (Saturday) in such a tough environment."
However, Saturday's win not only ended a road trip on a high note, it gave Sloan his 1,011th career win - passing Larry Brown for fourth all time.
"That's not one of my goals (climbing the all-time wins list), never has been and never will be," Sloan said. "I could care less, all that matters is that I still have a job and I can still coach."
Averaging 27 points on the trip, Okur has the ability to shoot with range or post up smaller defenders close to the basket. The 6-11 center started the team's four-game trek with a career-high 38 points vs. the Wizards and has not let up since.
"My teammates did a good job of creating open shots for me," Okur said. "In the second half, I was able to get to the line four or five times. My confidence was good and my shot kept finding the basket."
On Saturday, he was 7-of-18 from field, including 3-of-9 from the arc. He was the only player to connect from deep for Utah, which shot just 42 percent (33-of-79).
Boozer was 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-10 from the line, playing tough on the interior all night despite early shooting woes.
"It wasn't my best game. I struggled offensively," Boozer said. "But I work hard whether the ball is going in the hole or not for me, I keep trying to help my team win."
Ben Gordon scored 23 points and Kirk Hinrich added 22 for the Bulls, who shot 38 percent (29-of-72) - including 1-of-12 from the arc - and had their three-game winning streak snapped.
"I felt like we were getting our shots early on but we were missing them," Hinrich said. "We played hard. We knew it would be a tough game against one of the best teams in the league. Utah is one of the most aggressive teams in the NBA - their front line really battles you."
CHICAGO 85 FINAL
Jan 20 11:04 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
UTAH 22 20 25 67
CHICAGO 17 21 24 62 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
UTH - MEHMET OKUR 16, CARLOS BOOZER 13, DERON
CHI - KIRK HINRICH 21, BEN GORDON 16, BEN
Jan 20 10:26 PM
CHICAGO 38 HALFTIME
Jan 20 9:36 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
UTAH 22 22
CHICAGO 17 17 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
UTH - DERON WILLIAMS 8, MEHMET OKUR 5, ANDREI
CHI - BEN GORDON 5, KIRK HINRICH 4, LUOL DENG
Jan 20 9:03 PM
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